National Geographic : 1952 Jun
Pat Counts Gores Before Packing A typical parachute can opy is made of 28 gores, or wedge-shaped segments, stitched together to form a cloth circle 28 feet in diam eter. After folding the can opy, the Waves count to make sure they have the same number of gores on each side. Then they pack the chute, lines first, into the container. The Pilot Chute Goes In Last, Comes Out First With metal ribs and steel spring, the pilot chute is like an umbrella that won't stay shut. During a fall, it pops out of the pack first and pulls the main parachute after it (page 844). Above, Pat and her part ner connect the miniature chute to the top center of the main canopy. At right, folded, it is tucked into the container. Pulling the rip cord a fraction of an inch will release it.